BNSF Bridge over I-235 Replacement
Owner: Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation
Lead Design Firm/Civil: Benham
General Contractor: Allen Contracting
Structural Engineer: TranSystems
Subcontractors: A.H. Beck Foundation Co.; American Bridge Co.; Bigge Crane & Rigging; Crimson Steel Supply LLC; Gary A. Crain Inc.; Hayward Baker Inc. (Craig Olden Division); MCL Contracting LLC; Redlands Surveying Inc.; W&W/AFCO Steel
Using innovative techniques and careful planning and sequencing, the project team replaced the BNSF railway bridge over busy I-235 with minimal traffic disruptions and within two-thirds of the contract time.
The Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation bid the project as part of an $81-million contract—the largest construction package in department history. The bridge accounted for $17.5 million of the bid price and needed to be replaced before the I-235 expansion could proceed.
The project team used accelerated bridge construction techniques to minimize construction time and disruptions to the traveling public. BNSF rail traffic on the bridge averages 49 trains per day, and 115,000 vehicles use the interstate daily. Contractors were not allowed to reduce interstate traffic from four to two lanes, and they could not stick-build the trusses in their final location.
The contractor erected the trusses on an ODOT right-of-way and moved them into place using self-propelled modular transports. This method reduced the highway closure time for installing trusses from months to three days, and left rail traffic unaffected.
The contract time was originally 850 calendar days. The project used A+B bidding, a method of rewarding a contractor for completing a project as quickly as possible. Combined with precise planning and construction sequencing modifications, the contractor reduced the schedule to 550 days.